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Imported MP3 audio appears in Nvivo as the incorrect length

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I am a new user of NVivo 11. I am importing interview audio and time-stamped transcripts and finding that NVivo is not importing .MP3 audio correctly.


The problem (example):


I have an interview audio file of 1 hour 15 minutes, saved in .WAV format, with a file size of approximately 500MB. In order to reduce overcrowding on my desktop hard-drive, I compressed the file, converting it to .MP3 format. The new file is approximately 100MB, and still shows '1 hour 15 minutes' in the file>properties>audio panel.


When I try importing the original .WAV file into NVivo, the wave-form appears correctly, and the audio track length is correct (at 1 hour 15 minutes). However, when I import the (matching) .MP3 file, the track appears as over 3 hours long - 1 hour 15 minutes of audio plus over 2 hours of silence.


Why is this a problem? This means that when I import a time-stamped transcript, the audio and the transcript are no longer synced correctly.




Of course I can just go ahead and use the original .WAV files for all of my interviews - however this will quickly become infeasible due to the large file size.


Any suggestions about what might be causing NVivo to interpret the .MP3 files incorrectly, or how to solve this issue?





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Hi Chris,


Could you open the converted MP3 file in Windows Media Player and confirm that the audio doesn't have 2 hours of silence? This will help in determining if issue is NVivo specific.




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Hello Chris,

I have exactly the same problem, moreover I have one mp3 file cut off before its real end, I mean I have a mp3 file with a length of 28 minutes verified with windows media player and NVivo tells me it's 23,2 minutes long! and refuses to add a timespan even if it continues to play the invisible part from the wave form from NVivo...

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Hi Bhupesh,


Thanks for your response.


I have since tried this same process and encountered the same error. A converted .mp3 file has hours of space appended to the end *only* when imported to Nvivo. When played in Windows Media Player (for example) it is recognised as having the correct length.


I will submit a request via the link, but I cannot submit the .mp3 file as it is private research data.



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Hi there, 

Has this issue been resolved? I suspect I'm having a version of the same problem. 

I started working on WAV files that were too large to embed in my project. I have now compressed them to MP3 to embed them in the project for complicated ethical compliance reasons. To update the file links I have been following the instructions at http://help-nv11.qsrinternational.com/desktop/procedures/store_audio_and_video_files.htm under 'Embed a media file in the project'. When I change the audio properties to 'Embedded in project' I get a message saying the file size is too large, and asking if I would like to choose a different file. So far, so good. I select the newly compressed MP3 version. For some files it works just fine, mission accomplished. For others, I get an error message saying "Duration does not match original file".

I have no idea why this works for some files and not others. They have all been converted using exactly the same process and there should be no difference in duration between the MP3s and original WAVs. 

I tried importing one of the MP3s as a new document and it's duration shows in NVivo as the same as the original duration.

I could just reimport all my audios as new documents...but then I would lose all my transcription and coding links. 

If there is any kind of work around to encourage NVivo to accept the compressed files as the same as the original versions I would absolutely love to hear it!

Thank you!


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